Are you thinking of becoming a lawyer in Canada? Did you know you could work as a sports lawyer? An environmental lawyer? Or how about a lawyer specializing in immigration, human rights, labor, entertainment, media, or technology? Almost every passion has a law specialization.
In this article, we will share essential steps on how to become a lawyer in Canada, including the best law schools in Canada, the cheapest law school, the cost of studying law in Canada, high-demand lawyers in Canada, and how much lawyers earn in Canada.
1. Obtain Your Undergraduate Degree
In Canada, you cannot pursue a law degree immediately after graduating from high school. It is best to first obtain an undergraduate degree (or post-secondary studies).
Foreign students who wish to study in Canada must ensure that their qualifications meet the Canadian standard. Degrees such as BA, BSc, BBA, BComm, BEng. BMus, BPHE, BKin, and others are excellent preparation for pursuing a law degree.
An undergraduate degree will take the applicant three to four years to complete (depending on the program). To be considered eligible for admission to a law school in Canada, the applicant must have completed coursework equivalent to three to four academic years of undergraduate studies.
Even if law school does not require you to have a post-secondary education, your application will have a better chance of being accepted because it will be viewed as more competitive.
2. Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Most Canadian law schools, require the LSAT. After you receive your results, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is valid for five years. It usually takes about a half-day to complete.
This test is available online and is divided into two sections:
- Multiple-choice questions with scenarios are used to assess the applicant’s problem-solving abilities as well as their ability to think logically and analytically.
- A short essay question. This section will be graded independently of the multiple-choice questions.
Although the test can be taken multiple times, different institutions will require different test scores. Some law schools will accept average scores, while others will only accept the top scorers.
3. Apply to Law school
It is important to consider which law schools will best meet your requirements. The requirements for law schools vary depending on the province or territory in which you choose to study. The following are the primary requirements for obtaining a law degree:
- Academic transcripts;
- LSAT score;
- Personal statements and;
- Reference letters.
Make sure to check the application deadlines for each institute to which you apply. The Juris Doctor, or JD, is Canada’s first common law degree, and it can take up to three years to complete.
Even though admission to this law degree requires a different undergraduate degree, this is still an undergraduate degree. Other degrees will help you become a lawyer in Canada and advance your career.
After receiving your law degree, you may apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). This will allow you to work in Canada, making obtaining permanent residency that much easier.
It will greatly help your application because it will demonstrate that you have lived in Canada and are capable of looking after yourself in a country that is not your own.
Practice these skills to prepare for a career in law
Communication skills: Above all, excellent communication skills are required to be a good lawyer. Lawyers must speak concisely and confidently. They must listen carefully, whether to clients or in court. They must also write clearly and persuasively.
Research skills: Law involves lots of research. Lawyers know how to source credible material to back up their arguments. (Listening is a research skill, too.)
Critical thinking and analysis: This entails using sound judgment when evaluating sources and using evidence to construct logical, persuasive arguments.
Compassion and people skills: Lawyers frequently work in groups. And, no matter what area of law you practice, you will almost certainly have clients who are dealing with difficult emotions.
How To Get a Student Visa
To obtain a student visa, the first step is to apply to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). After you’ve applied to the DLI and been approved, you can apply for a study permit. The following documents are required to apply for a study permit:
- A valid passport or travel documents;
- A letter of acceptance from a DLI and;
- Proof of funds for yourself or any family members that will be joining you.
You may be required to submit additional documentation depending on your country of origin. There will be a processing fee that varies according to the number of people on your application.
If you plan to study for more than six months, you must get a medical exam as well as a police clearance. The medical exam will not be performed by a general practitioner, but rather by a panel physician. The exam can be taken before or after submitting your application for a study permit.
After submitting your application and documents and paying your fees, you will have to wait approximately 13 weeks before receiving approval for your student visa.
Study Law in Canada
Which colleges are the cheapest in Canada?
One of the main reasons many people choose to study law in Canada is that they have some of the best law courses in the world.
Courses are very affordable without sacrificing educational quality. Here are some of the cheapest law colleges/universities in Canada:
- Brandon University
- Université de Saint-Boniface
- Dominican University College
- Canadian Mennonite University
- The Memorial University of Newfoundland
- University of Northern British Columbia
- The University of Calgary
- The University of Saskatchewan
- Simon Fraser University
What are the best law schools in Canada?
The University of Toronto, as well as McGill University, are known as two of the best universities in Canada to Study Law.
Below is a list of the top 10 Best universities for law in Canada, and the cities they are based in.
|TOP UNIVERSITIES FOR LAW IN CANADA|
|1. University of Toronto||Toronto|
|2. McGill University||Montreal|
|3. University of British Columbia||Vancouver|
|4. York University||Toronto|
|5. University of Montreal||Montreal|
|6. University of Ottawa||Ottawa|
|7. Université Laval||Quebec City|
|8. Western University||London|
|9. University of Alberta||Edmonton|
|10. Dalhousie University||Halifax|
What is the cost of studying law in Canada?
The cost of studies will vary depending on the institution you apply to as well as the type of program you’re interested in, so check the website or request a quote before applying.
The table below shows an example of tuition fees:
|DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY TUITION FEES|
|Tuition and Expenses||Fees|
|Estimated Full-time Tuition and Fees||$20,998.50|
|Textbook and Course Materials||$1,350|
How much do lawyers earn in Canada?
According to Canada Talent.com, The average salary of a lawyer in Canada is $100,000 per year or $51.28 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $77,500 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $135,000 per year.
What types of lawyers are in demand in Canada?
If you’re not feeling the corporate vibe, there are plenty of other options to consider. Here are some in-demand law options to look at:
- Complex Litigation
- Corporate Law
- Tax Law
- Intellectual Property
- Civil Rights
- Animal Rights
- Sports and Entertainment
- Family Law
- Elder Law